I first discovered a then blonde Zooey Deschanel in an appearance in one of the American TV Late Shows (I think it was David Letterman’s), where she presented the film The Good Girl, Jennifer Aniston’s best work to date, in which she played a small role. Although she had previously landed a role in Cameron Crowe’s highly popular Almost Famous, she was still an unknown actress and she behaved accordingly all through the interview, fidgety and unable to control her hand movements, too aware of the fact that she was more than probably a second choice who was standing in for someone else.
There was, however, something about her that caught my eye immediately. What in other novice starlette would have come across as sheer foolishness was transformed into something genuinely funny courtesy of Miss Deschanel. She was at her most hilarious when describing the Yugoslavian people as still angry about a war that happened about half a century ago.
Ever since then Zooey Deschanel has carved out a certainly erratic but nonetheless successful career in Hollywood, with mostly weird and unsympathetic parts in films as far apart as All the Real Girls, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Happening, Yes, Man and one of last year’s best American comedies, (500) Days of Summer (and the Golden Globe went to The Hangover, ouch).
In the meantime she has found the time to team up with indie guitarist M Ward to produce She and Him, one of America’s most irresistible independent pop acts. Their debut album Volume One ranks among one of my favourite records from 2008. Ward’s orchestration of Deschanel’s compositions is as close as anything can get to a genuine Phil Spector production of, let’s say, The Ronettes, while Deschanel’s delivery of her own texts is remotely but pleasantly reminiscent of the great Dusty Springfield. Everything else, especially their videos, is so tongue-in-cheek and sugarcoated that it radiates authenticity through and through.
Their second effort is consistently entitled Volume Two and features a marvellous opener, the single In the Sun.
Have a look at the video and its fantastic choreography. Don’t miss the final leap, it’s my favourite.
Kisses from Sofia,